Karmic cycle

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Our entire way of being and philosphy is based on the karmic cycle. What goes around comes around. When life beats us down and we don’t have an explanation, the only explanation/justification we give ourselves to keep going is we are clearing our karmic debt. THe only way the entire race attempts at being good is every action has a consequence or an equal and opposite reaction as stated by newton for the logically minded.

We have been told stories on the concept of rebirth and one soul and multiple bodies and the law of karma. From elders, in mythology, in all the stories we have read since we were small. And reinforced as we grow bif by books, people, spiritual leaders, philosphers, posters, internet.

But I don’t have an experience of it? I don’t remember my past lives and who I was and how that defines me today. So how do I believe it being true. It could very well a good strong well crafted story for giving a structure to the otherwise selfish, dark side of humans beings.

What if there was no such story or reality? Now that is a deadly combination to go on a rampage of our own. Isn’t it? How do we control the humans? Make them responsible for their actions? Make them look and do at the good as the bad is very tempting? Would there be any hope? How we would explain and interpret what happens to us – the good and the bad? How would we stay humble with the good and keep hope and life in the bad?

So we build a story. A story of Karmic circle and life. There is one soul and millions of lives and whatever you do there are consequences to it – if not in this life then the next one or the next. But they would be there and they would catch up with you. What a powerful mechanism.

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It gives us hope and helps us live this world when we find it has been unfair to us for no reason. We can just put it on the fact that must be the result of some karmic debt. Imagine if we knew that the world is unfair and the ones who hurt us will never get punished. That would destroy us, would it not? So, we build this logic which helps us deal with it.

It also keeps us good and try not do bad or hurt someone or try and keep of all the things we consider wrong.

Ideally, I should know what I have done and caused earlier to know what I am paying for in this life. But I don’t. I assume I am paying for something that may have happened in the past and live with that as everyone else does. Would the karmic cycle be more effective if I know my past lives. Then I would rememeber it better and not do and it be more effective.

But I don’t. I have been told these stories and I follow blindly without an experience of it but some awe and fear of it.

- Q

U are form-less.

You are a bundle of energy. You take whatever form the environment provides for you. The environment is defined right from the time the egg and the sperm meets. Their quality (what we call the genes) and then the experiences of the mother – what she does ,eats, feels and more while you are in the womb. Then escalated by the very moment you pop out in the world.

You are like the water as mentioned by Hetain Patel in his video. Or more like what he said while imitating Bruce Lee. U will take the form defined by the environment like a cup or plate or river or rain. Otherwise you are formless.

 

Hetain Patel

 

That’s what we are. We are formless. We have a form depending on the country, race, house, caste, school, parents, college, work, gender we belong to. Otherwise, we are all the same – formless and purposeless.

So, then why do we fight and have such a trip over everything in life. Because once we get into a form, we need to play that role. But the form can keep changing with changing the environment and context. Why do we still stay rigid on it then. Question is: Is there a choice in how one needs to play that role or is it pre defined?

Culture Shock

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 My niece T, who is studying anthropology, said  ”We are all culturally  biased. However liberal we may think we are , there are things about other cultures which will shock us and disgust us.” Got me thinking. I considered myself fairly liberal but she is right. I don’t think I can understand cannibalization, one with consent. Consent cannibalization would not raise moral dilemmas and chaos about human rights in me but just the thought one human eating another human makes me squirm. To communities and tries where this is practiced , it would be perfectly fine.

This started a series of thoughts in me. What is culturally acceptable and what is shocking.

- Is it what the majority of the population across the globe believe for that time period which is acceptable and is the norm.

- Is the what some of the ‘leadership countries believe which is the norm.

- Behavior and activities which do not harm individuals and are not forced such as gentile mutilations, is that culturally acceptable. But then how does we culturally justify war, chemical warfare, corruption and more.

There is no answer… no right wrongs…Just differences and only differences. And I guess the differences are meant to be .. to stay, probe us, make us think and react – positively or negatively.  That’s the only piece we have control over.

- Quay.

Black or white and the GREY in between!

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I was reading Asura , a semi fictional or completely fictional book talking about ramayana and the sequence of events from the perspective of Ravana. As part of  the process, I realized I was also questioning the stories we have grown up on. The larger than life image, the righteous Rama was getting questioned in my head as I read. The clear line distinguishing the Devas as the good and the Asura’s being the evil was getting blurred.

I saw myself moving in the direction of them being two different races and each living by their moral code of conduct. And the fact there was good and bad and ugly in both. They say it is the victorious who writes history and it is distorted to benefit them. Is that what happened? And it got glorified and the grey of the Devas got dissolved.

The book did two things for me:

It made me realize that literature is so powerful. What you read can change the way you think so suddenly.. It helps you form who you are. I guess that’s why we emphasis that we should read and travel. It opens your mind. At the same time, a dark thought came to me. That if one book is making me question… what would some of the hate books on various religions would be doing to the minds of people. A lot of people would be only exposed limited information and books and my god! I am scared to think how that mind functions and how bitter can be. No wonder there is so much chaos and mess in the world. Word is the most powerful weapon.

The second thing which kept going on in my head why the hell can’t we expect the grey in someone who we put on a pedestal. All of us have the good, the bad and the ugly. All are gods do. They have used unethical means to establish their rule in so many stories. Mahabharata talks about it. Why when we make people our mentors and look at public figures, not accept the grey in them and appreciate them for the good and skill they have. Why do we beat them down for the grey. Are we so hungry to get rid of the grey. Do we want to build a righteous image of someone for our own faith in mankind. Is that what happened to Rama. Why are we so harsh on the grey.

WE ARE ALL GREY! DIFFERENT SHADES !

- Quay

 

Alcoholism

I want to drink to break free

I want to drink to break free

Get one merry and u will see a completely different side of the person. It is like the inner you which has been caged for generations has broken loose. BOOM!!!! I am now here to rock and roll. It pops out in many ways for each of us and maybe different ways at different points of time.

- helps de-stress from the day

- Lightens the load… some get very emotional

- it helps have sex better for some or without moral groundings… which otherwise you would be scared to cross

- dance and party better

- drive recklessly – potential to kill anybody coming in the way. We have some many examples of that

- some people express better in conversations – the good, the bad and the ugly

It manages to get the best and the worst out of u.

I once read a book called Shibumi or something like that in which the gardener would get merry right from the morning. He would have one quarter of a glass of wine every half an hour or so and who stay buzzed all day. I had found the notion extremely tempting at that point in time. I still do actually. Only too scared of what would happen if I get hooked and then realize that one quarter of a glass does nothing and I need more. That’s the tricky piece and the book never talked about that detail. So, I chickened out.

- Quay.

Easy to preach

I tell u what is right or wrong

I tell u what is right or wrong

Sometime’s when we give gyan to others, it is so easy to do so. We can rant on and on about the how the other person is behaving, not seeing the logic in this. It is so obvious to us how things need to be dealt with , how one should have behaved… to be judgmental and say what is right and wrong.

I wonder how we or I would respond put in similar shoes. I was asked that question today, that I can say what I saying or feel what I am feeling because I am watching from outside and not in the concerned person shoes.

That brings in a self doubt in my system. Am I being a preacher. Am I being judgemental. Am I not not trusting for how things are being explained to me. What is right or wrong. Is there a right or wrong. Isn’t every thing a consequence of one’s action- now or earlier. Then whatever is happening to us is our responsibility. Can this be a fatalist view to approach things if taken completely.

I am perplexed and confused at this moment. What would I do in similar shoes or another situation and another set of shoes. Would I behave any differently. How do I know what exactly goes on as a third party. What forces come into play. There are so many variables- emotional , physical, mental. What gives me the right to lecture then. To say I dont agree and think differently. That one should have behaved differently.

I cant be a yes person. But who am I to preach or give a point of view. Who am I to doubt the intention. I could be wrong. Who am I to say anything to anybody.

I could do exactly the same.

Who am I but a mere observer. Who am I to tell anyone anything.

Puke in Peace!

I seem to have graduated from ‘getting married’ issues to ‘being married’ issues.

No just puke till u pop a kid.

'No just' puke till u pop a kid.

So, another thing about ‘being married’.

If you are married and don’t have a child yet (esp. if you are in your end of first/beginning of second year), You cannot ‘puke’ or feel ‘quesssshy’ in your stomach without someone in your family/and worse friends raising an eyebrow or making a remark of ‘maybe…just maybe……’

So, here I am…..

Me: I threw up. I ate those damn gol gappa’s and this is where they have landed me. Imagine, it happened in the middle of the market. God, it was embarrassing like hell and I am still feeling super sick in my stomach.

Friend 1: Oh!!!!! (then giggles) maybe we are getting a good news.

Me: (aghast) One, I am in pain and u can only think babies. Two, I would know. Right? I have a chum cycle to tell me that.

Repeat of my plight and sickness to another friend.

Friend 2: Are u sure it was the gol gappa’s or ….hmmm!!!

Me: of course! I am sure gol gappa’s .. that’s the only dicey thing I ate off the street in the last two days.

Friend 2: No! No! I meant … Maybe….There is another reason. (smiles)

Me: OH NO !!! I would know …..

And the saga continues……..!!!!!

-Quay!

Self Start-er

I have been on my own last 3 years now.

So, when I quit job, I started a design firm, MadCow. I had my cousin as partner and a ready project in hand.

So, it was easier.

And I never faced an issue like this before where I am starting something by myself completely.

Then I shared notes with some of my recently “quit job-going to do their thing” friends and realize how we all are going through similar issues.

Nothingness

Nothingness

Some of the things we have to deal with once we decide to go OMO-SOLO.

- You do not have an office to go to… your bed, drawing room, table in your room becomes your office. It’s great as it cuts the commuting time. You can just open your eyes and get to work… very very efficient.  Only there is this bed present in front of u all the time and it gets very tempting, especially post lunch

- All your brainstorming seems to happen lying horizontal on the bed, eyes shut

- Visits to the kitchen/fridge increase

- TV visits increase

- Face book time increases for sheer ‘connecting with the world’-and farming!!!

- Undergo the “phangs” of no people around

- Your family thinks u are accessible at all times- house chores seems to increase many folds

- You need very very high levels of motivations to get ur butt moving on the basic stuff

- The 9-5 schedule we hated about a job is definitely out. There is no schedule left and constant paranoia on work on the mind. U can’t shut down post 7 in the evening

- There are 4 days of nothingness, delays in deadlines put by self, then one day of burst of energy and slump all over again

-  Give and take gyan – with friends going through similar perils

- Everybody wants to see a plan, which u have been procasinating over. Everytime u get down to it, u see the bed or need to harvest ur plants in the virtual world

- CCD’s become hunting/meeting grounds

- You always cross your budget for the day/week

- Mind is in a perpetual over drive. If only we could make money by giving business ideas to people. WOW!!

- You can see a depleting bank account and wonder why are u doing what u are doing. What prompted this move and situation?

Insanity,

-Que

Dark Side.

Dark side

Dark side

I think the biggest thing we do to harm ourselves is not admit to ourselves how screwed up we are.

We refuse to acknowledge to self that there is a certain way we behave and think. We fight it by blaming the world, looking for reasons to justify the same. But we will not say we are responsible for what is happening to ourselves.

We fight that thought so hard, that it has so many reactions. We go into bad moods, there is inaction, we blame, we fight, we bicker, we curse ourselves for being the way we are.

If only we could look at ourselves and say this is what it is… however ugly it maybe and accept how we are or what the problem is.

It could be jealousy, greed, want, desire, anything… Just saying this is what’s happening to me to and even better to people who know u or will not judge you. You will suddenly feel light and happy.

We would be able to then identify and say this is a problem or an issue and how do we now deal with this. Then there can be steps.

Plus the whole gamet of oh!!! what will people think or what a downer it is for my ego, etc etc get killed giving u more time and space for other things we can do!

If only we could let go of the denial we like to believe and live with about ourselves.

We are all dark inside!!!

-Que

FOUR faced !

Some of our faces!!

Some of our faces!!

It’s funny how we meet people and assume that how they interact with us in whatever context is how they are in most and all context.

Example:  Someone we interact with in social context who seems extremely pleasent to us might be quite uptight in professional relationship. But we assume that the one face or say the first impression we encounter is what we carry across all spheres in our lives. We also tend to get shocked when we see another aspect of same person.

I have been thinking about this for a while or easedropping on people’s conversation.:-). My favourite hobby.

Anyway, I conclude we have multiple faces (broadly!! I am sure there are many sub categories if I decide to get into more psychoanalysis).

On a broad category level, I would say 4.

Social face: How we interact with people in a social setting, relaxed and chilled environment, over dinner, over coffee, with friends or people we want to be friends with.

Professional face: How we interact in our working life- with our bosses, colleagues, people who work for us, clients and many more.

Marriage/Dating face: How we behave when we want to woo or are attracted to someone. Or are sexually, emotionally in a more intimate relationship.

Family face: How we behave when are parents are around or our understanding and relationship with them.

One individual can behave and be very different in each of the above faces.

Example: Person B is very happy shanti type fellow. Chilled out. Has multiple girlfriends. Everybody likes him. Thinks progressive in a social content. This is his social face.

But he is scared of his parents. He is considered how they view him, what opinion they hold of him. His interaction with them is very what they say, I would go by it. That is his family face. When we see these two aspects we get shocked and say how and why? It does not make sense. This is because we assume the person to behave, think and be the same in every scenario. We want consistency. We want what we see or would like to believe about the person.

I can site so many examples from within me and people I know around.

What we do not understand that human beings are complicated. There are multiple faces and expressions that we have and project. A lot of our emotions arise from social conditioning and the environment and relationships we have grown up with.

To accept all dimensions of human kind,

:-)

Que.